Plugin management options in Astute Manager

4 minute read • Last updated 2020-08-03

The Astute Manager gives complete control over your Illustrator plugins. It allows you to start your Annual Service Plan trial (all plugins), install, update, remove, activate and deactivate. The following section describes the different operations on offer.


Before attempting to make changes to your plugin installations, you first need to quit all instances of Adobe Illustrator. Do not attempt to restart Illustrator until the spinning activity indicator that will appear at the top of the Astute Manager window disappears.

Main options

The top menu (highlighted below) in the main Astute Manager window allows you to:

  • Start Your Trial — typically displayed for first-time use of the Astute Manager to start your 14 day trial.
  • Buy — link to purchase your Annual Service Plan if you have started or lapsed on your trial period.
  • Update Plugins — typically displayed for users upgrading from historic individual plugin purchases prior to the Annual Service Plan being available. Update all plugins to the current latest version(s).
  • Activate — becomes available when you purchase a license following trial mode. In many circumstances, activation will be applied automatically.
  • Learn — no immediate action is required, so it's recommended that you take a look at our training material

Clicking on the highlight button will cause that action to take place. The Learn button will open a separate web window. All other actions will cause individual plugin buttons to show Detail allowing you to check on progress.

Additional options

A pull-down menu icon appears next to the top and individual menu main action buttons as highlighted in green below:

This provides access to additional options.

Top pull-down menu:

  • Deactivate — for all activated instances where a user wants to move a license activation from one machine to another by first deactivating.
  • Uninstall All — remove all Astute Graphics plugins previously installed by the Astute Manager. Excludes older installations for Adobe Illustrator CS6 and the Astui plugin which is no longer managed by the Astute Manager.

Individual plugins pull-down menus:

  • Uninstall — remove the instance of a particular plugin.
  • Detail — further control and information about the plugin(s) installed, including version numbers.
  • Force — lists previous Annual Service Plan instances of the plugin to revert to (if available).


If the plugin is installed, up-to-date and activated, the Learn button is quick access to the associated plugin training material hosted on the Learn website pages.

This button doesn't affect the local state of your plugin installations.


With many scenarios possible, such as mixed plugin version installations on various instances of Illustrator (CS6 through to the latest CreativeCloud version), the Detail button allows you to gain detailed control of each plugin's state.

Please refer to the separate major section below on what the Detail view can offer.


If a plugin has been updated by Astute Graphics, the Astute Manager will automatically offer you the chance to install the latest version.

As part of the Annual Service Plan, all updates and new releases are available if you are currently a paying customer. For example, v2.3.0 to v2.3.1 and may represent minor functionality additions or bug fixes.

Following the installation of an update, remember to restart Illustrator.

Special note about free plugins

MirrorMe, Autosaviour and DirectPrefs are all free plugins that do not require any trial or licensing. You can install and benefit from these straight away without need to join the Annual Service Plan.

As they are not part of the Annual Service Plan license, they are installed separately.


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